Thursday, May 4, 2017

Our Murder Weapon

Today's post focuses on the recent Waking up podcast by Sam Harris, #73 Forbidden Knowledge:

The Bell Curve

In the podcast, Sam Harris interviews Charles Murray, the author of the Bell Curve. The Bell Curve is on of the most controversial books of the past 50 years. The books deals with the growing importance of IQ and the partitioning of our society with the upper end consisting of an elite class of high IQ people who are isolated from the rest of society.

sam faced own issues with ben affleck
charles murray
when he forces you to change opinion neizche
steven gould
mismeasure of man
new yorker review
wrote critique of book
thesis of bell curve
same as coming apart
future shaped
by radical increase in valuation of iq in marketplace
effectiveness of educational system in getting intellectual talent and pulling into
elite universities
this combination of factors is creating
a cognitive elite
that is increasingly
has own culture
isolated from and ignorant of the rest of society
bell cur
3 or 4 chapters on the nature of the cognitive elite and how it came about
next 8 chapters on
relationship between iq and various socio economic factors
educational attainment
restricted to non latino whites to avoid heated issue
then looked at does it apply to nation as a whole
there it went into race and was contraversial
over the years
the reality of g has had even more validation
such a the the quantity of grey vs white matter
snip single nucleotide poly
can take more than one form
responsible for human variation
related to social behaviour and mental function
went from single digits and is now reaching toward the thousands
task force known and unknowns for iq
nothing overturned in bell cur
criticized for only looking at:
educational attainment
others threw in other variables
christoper winship at harvard
looked at siblings
fixed effect analysis
confirmed inependent role of iq on social outcomes
east asian greater visual spacial intelligence
charles spearman
noticed at turn of the century
tests were clustering on something (iq)
you can have better skills in one area vs another
for example verbal and math
but if you are above average in one you tend to be above in the other
they are correlated
iq and success
steven goldberg city college ny
iq has same role as weight for offensive linemen
you need a certain amount of iq
but there are other factors such as grit
iq is highly heritable
50 to 80 percent
more heritable the older we get
genetic amplification
environment vs genes
twin studies disentangle
jack up environment can have short term effect but fades out
notion that if traits are genetic that is bad
if environmental good
because we can do something if they are environmental
but the fact of the matter is that
changing environments in ways that produce measurable
changes is hard
and we do not know how to do it
failed social policies
other highly heritable
big five
personality traits
these are also 50% ascribed to environment
shared and non shared environment
non shared takes up most of this 50% not ascribed to environment
not susceptible to manipulation
can manipulate shared somewhat but not shared
judith ridge harris wrote book on subject
the left used to be boosterish towards iq
the SAT was invented for meritrocratic purposes
a way for kids for non exclusive backgrounds to get into ivy league schools
iq is a good way to indentify intellectual talent
now ordinary people are comfortable with iq concepts
elites are uncomfortable, elites are flat earthers
iq test just test ability to take tests
cultural biased
iq tests have predictive validity
for income, employment decisions
can test for bias
rate items for cultural loading
does SAT capture ability to do well in college
minorities do better on culturally loaded questions than purely abstract questions
there are systematic ways to interrogate the quality of tests
modern tests pass these with flying colors
now that the human genome has been
we can look at the subject in a whole new level
bluriness of race is noise in the signal
it will obscure differences not highlight them
if one says genese are not a componenet of IQ
then you need to prove that it is solely environmental
this is a high bar to prove

if genes and enviroment are a 50/50 split
if enviroment is caused by racial difference
then race would have to live in an environment
standard deviation then environment would need to be
1.5 below the mean
if you look at income, education, occupation, it does not make sense
it is not plausible
flynn effect
also identified by richard lynn in east asian tests
iq tests are renormed
iq scores have been gradually been rising
unknown why this is happening
is it a matter of increasing exposure to things what would help on iq tests
could also be partly an increase in g but probably not a lot
why write book
important to recognize differences
cristina hoff summers education
the equality premise
that people only suffer adverse outcomes because of race or sexism has cause harm
problem with affirmative action
putting people in positions where they are set up to fail
social forces
higher education sucked intellectual talent from hinterlands and shuttled off to ivy league
intellectual talent more highly valued
plus natural human implulses
want to hang out with people like you
silicon valley
los angeles
seperation of classes worrisome
for a country like the us where
equality has always been valued
jonathan haight
deplorables comment
new elite class treats mainstream america with disdain and is isolated from it
new upper class in a lot of ways behave very well
belong to civic
because no code of values that they feel that they or others need to live up to
do not practice what they preach

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